Found Poetry: Drawing on French Techniques

Frequent commenter Maureen Doalles sprung into action when our call for found poetry went out. She had a poem posted by the following day. Taking her words from this page on our museum’s website, Maureen produced this evocative verse:

Drawing on French Techniques

The impulse gave way
with the barest of means

during the late break
away, the marks a compelling glimpse

into the expressive potential
of intimate rhythms

realized in the fleeting freshness
of bold gestures and interior geometries.

~ Maureen E. Doallas

Read more about found poetry, and how to contribute your own, here.

A Way to Look at Things

Stieglitz Presents Sever Americans... Arthur Dove poem

"A Way to Look at Things", a poem by Arthur G. Dove published in Alfred Stieglitz's catalog for his exhibition, "Seven Americans", 1925. From the Phillips Collection Library, Gift of the Robert and Dana Quittner Family Trust.

In 1925, Alfred Stieglitz organized a show called Seven Americans to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his gallery, “291”. To support the works selected for the exhibition, he published four writings in the brief catalog, one of which is the poem shown above by artist Arthur Dove. Ann Lee Morgan, in her definitive book Arthur Dove: Life and Work, cites Stieglitz’s response to the poem, which addresses abstraction in art, as “a classic.” Morgan says that Dove occasionally took up poetry but that the poem printed in Seven Americans is the “most successfully constructed.”

Find Poetry When You Look For It

April is National Poetry Month! Last year, we explored connections between poetry and our permanent collection. This year, we’re asking you to pick up a pen and create your own found poem.

National Poetry Month poster

The 2012 National Poetry Month poster, designed by Chin-Yee Lai

Found poetry is the practice of taking words and phrases from a selected existing text and rearranging them into a poem. Using our museum, select your source for words. You could use exhibition wall text, labels under paintings throughout the galleries, the text in our welcome brochure, our website, even the blog. You must find all words in your source, even the little ones like “a”, “and”, and “the”. Your poem can be short, like a haiku, long, as in epic, or anything in between. Submit your poems in the comments section below, tell us where your words came from, and some of our favorites will be made in to blog posts.

For more on found poetry, see the Found Poetry Project and the New York Times‘s 3rd Annual Found Poem Student Contest.